How to Camp as a Full-time RVer

My good friend, Shane, asked me a very common question: “How do retirees hit the road, living out of their RVs all year if you can’t stay extended periods at any of these parks?” The question was in reference to a prior blog post about campground membership clubs.

Here are some questions and food for thought if you are considering going full-time:

  1. Will you have an income such as retirement, investments, Social Security benefits?
  2. Do you want to supplement your income on the road, or will you support yourself on the road?
  3. What is your budget? $1,000 or $5,000 per month?
  4. Are you flexible, or do you have to be certain places at specific times?
  5. Is boon docking or living off the grid an option?
  6. Will you also have a sticks and bricks home as an anchor? Some people need a place that doesn’t move to “come home to”…not me!
  7. Are you a reservation maker, or more “by the seat of the pants” traveler?
  8. Do you have family or friends to visit along your route?

This blog post is not about how much everything costs or fixed versus variable expenses.  It’s more about the different options of staying and playing. I’ll cover money later…

thThere are a million ways of making money on the road, but the first one I’ll address is work camping. Depending how long your contract is, this option can mean staying for more than 14 days at a particular campground (unlike the campground membership clubs).  Some pay wages and some only offer free sites for hosting a campground.

Here are some links to apply for campground jobs:

xfacebook-cropped-02-jpg-pagespeed-ic-ssfjnvvwrl Workers on Wheels






The second way to earn an income traveling is working remotely.  Depending on your qualifications and skills, many companies are looking to hire and skip the overhead expenses of an office. There are so many to choose from, but also a lot of scams.  Do not ever pay to apply to any company.  Types of jobs include transcribing, mock juror, data entry, proof reading, sales, marketing and just about anything! If you are crafty you can always sell on ETSY or offer services like plumbing, electrical or maintenance help at campgrounds if they allow it. The possibilities are endless.

The third way is to boon dock.  We hope to do a lot of this.  We have been able to pick the brains of some very good friends, Al and Debbie, who have convinced us being off the grid is a good thing. You should see their set-up!  We call them our experts and look forward to camping with them so they can show us the ropes – the REAL ropes!  Our dream is to get solar ready, carry enough water to get through more days and live simply in between gigs.  The only thing I care about is a flushing toilet and shower.  We’re good there already!

Aren’t Al and Debbie the cutest? !

Another way is to park for free.  Walmart, Camping World and Kmart all provide free overnight parking. Just check with the store manager first. Casinos are welcoming to RVers as well and some have designated spots (with electrical) in the parking lot for a free night. You can always play “trucker” and park free for a night at locations like Flying J. They also have showers and have you ever been in a truck stop diner?  Some serve pretty decent food and enough to fill up the hungry guy.

Our whole idea is to not be in a rush. Ever. Our rule is to not drive over 200 miles per day – maximum. We have a bucket list, but when we get to the next item will be a mystery. We need to travel based on our budget, income and willingness. We want to be on an adventure and that means discovering new horizons.  I can’t wait to say, “Let’s live here tonight”!

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